A document that put the DEA under attack for advertising misinformation about cannabis’ health effects has vanished from the agency’s website. An almost 45-page publication on the various consequences of marijuana use, “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” no longer was available on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website. Last year, the document was at the center of a legal petition by Americans for Safe Access claiming the DEA’s publishing of “scientifically inaccurate information about the health effects of medical cannabis” directly influenced “the action, and inaction, of Congress.”
In December, the medical marijuana advocacy organization alleged that the DEA website’s inclusion of 25 inaccurate statements about cannabis violated the Data Quality Act, also known as the Information Quality Act, which is meant to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of data that government agencies provide to the public. Some of those statements, that cannabis plays an important role in psychosis; cannabis smoking causes tumors of the head, neck, and lung; and marijuana is a forerunner to illicit substance use and heroin addiction, have been contradicted by the DEA’s own statements in its August 2016 Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana, according to ASA.
Agencies have 60 days to respond to requests to correct information, ASA said in its statement. The group recently celebrated the document’s absence as a victory. Steph Sherer, ASA executive director, said in a statement, “The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock. This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses.” In its statement, ASA said “the fight is not over,” claiming that the DEA’s website continues to include misleading or false statements about marijuana.